Mike Levang is one of the region’s top superintendents. His main focus has been tenant improvements and renovations, from medical offices to the two entire buildings he is currently building out for a large local tech company.
He has been at Lewis for 29 years, following his father John Levang who was also an outstanding superintendent at Lewis.
MH: What is your typical day like, and what is your favorite part?
ML: My days rarely follow a traditional eight-hour work day. I usually wake up prior to my alarm, thinking about what my day holds. Fortunately, as I get older, I wake up less in a panic regarding work than I used to. I have to admit, my favorite part is wrapping up my day, having completed all the work for that day. There is a lot of satisfaction in that. But of course work is only part of my day. Church, family and serving others in the community tend to fill in the rest.
MH: With technology evolving, what is most different, and what will always be the same?
ML: Well…coming from a time when there were no cell phones or computers, schedules were done by hand, and we used couriers to send paperwork back and forth, I would say a lot has changed. A couple of the biggest changes for me would be going from 100% paper drawings to using Bluebeam, and the introduction of VDC (virtual design & construction) on my most current projects. Though, whatever we change or add, we will always have the human factor. Technology may enhance our capabilities, but there is no substitute for knowledge and experience.
MH: Do you have a favorite project, and why?
ML: I would say my current project is shaping up to be my most favorite. This project is not only massive in size but dollar amount as well. It has been an amazing experience not only working on a project of this magnitude, but to have the opportunity to work with an amazing team, where each team member plays a vital role in the success of the project. I also appreciate getting to work alongside a valued client for a second time.
MH: Your dad John Levang was a very successful Lewis superintendent. What did he teach you?
ML: He taught me a lot actually. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to work alongside my dad for the years prior to becoming a superintendent myself, yet still able to consult with him from time to time, gleaning from his years of experience. From an early age, honesty, integrity, working hard, working to your potential, loyalty and being on time (early actually) were some of the traits he installed in us growing up. A couple of sayings I heard on a regular basis were “better an hour early than a minute late” or “our goal is not to merely meet a schedule, but to beat the schedule.” My dad was a huge part of why I do what I do, and do it the way I do. For that, I am grateful to him.
MH: Any other philosophies to share?
ML: My goal in life/work, is to live a life of honesty, integrity and high moral character. I think our clients, family and friends deserve that.
MH: What does Working Safe for Life mean to you?
ML: Working Safe for Life is not just something we do but a lifestyle change. A change that goes beyond work and those people we work with. It filters down to our spouses, our children, our friends and those we come into contact with that can benefit from our training and knowledge of “working safe.” It is also a matter of not just telling them to do something safely, but telling them the how and why of doing things safely.
MH: What would surprise people to know about you?
ML: Some know this, but more don’t: I will be 50 on my next birthday, and I am heading towards my 30th year with Lewis. I love to spend time with my two grandkids. I love to wakeboard with my kids, or any other water sport. I tend to do things as if I am still 20, but usually pay for it later.